How are you going to spend my entire life just picking picking picking at everything that I have to be embarrassed about, then get mad when I’m embarrassed for someone to see it?
Very often, I believe there to be a quality of writing that I’m straining to achieve, but I just can’t quite get there. I fail miserably, and I continue to read the work of others, read words and sentences and phrases that rock me right down to my marrow and I continue to think—I want that. I want to do that. I want to piece together words and sentences and phrases of my own that will just shake someone, make their throat close up with emotion and place a weight on their chest with just how fucking intense my work is. I want that quality of writing, and I’m straining, and I don’t feel that I’m getting there. I feel myself falling short all the time, every time that I read something that I perceive to be remarkably better than anything I could produce.
—and then I realize that it is not a quality that I want to achieve. I have that. I am damn good. I just need a comfort in it. A comfort in my words, a comfort in my skin.
I’m tired of being soft.
I want to be intense.
It’s a fit, a full-blown meltdown.
It’s digging my fingers into my hair,
sitting on the edge of my bed, rocking and rocking
—and I know I look mad, I know I’m insane—
It’s squeezing my eyes shut with tears salting the lashes.
It’s a long screech, a high-pitched wail,
sounds a lot like I’m dying.
Waking up stresses me out.
It has not been a good morning. The straw has broken the camel’s back and the fine balancing act is done, the house of cards is toppling down in stress after stress after stress. I’m just tired. I’m just shit.
No, it’s really not been a good morning.
The yard has exploded into a blast of dandelion yellow
and great big tufts of fuzz that I love to kick
love to watch explode, love to watch the pieces float away.
Great thick patches of clover, and purple buds—
shouting that Spring is here,
which means bees. Lots of bees.
And I want to build a garden,
soaked up in the colors of the season.
Bright and vivid, soft and sweet
oranges, yellows, pinks, reds and purple
and so much fucking green.
You’re born on the South Side. It takes a long time before you learn where that’s at, a particular neighborhood in a particular town in a particular state. It’s always just been South Side.
“I’m from South Side, and you’re a fuckin’ South Sider too, and we fuckin’ stick to our goddamn fuckin’ own, y’hear me?”
Like you’re sitting at the drop off edge of the world and you can go no further down.
It doesn’t take a long time to find that there’s a lot further down to go.
And she wishes she had a camera
for those dead limbs dancing,
dead hands waving
in the Streetlamp city—
—bright red cherry tips
on dark gray morning clouds—
and the delicious weight,
the sweetest smell,
of a cold rain hanging.